By K J M Varma
BEIJING: Chinese telecom giant Huawei said it has obtained 46 commercial 5G contracts so far in 30 countries and shipped more than one lakh 5G stations globally, emerging as a top player in the race for setting up the super-fast telecommunications system despite the US ban on use of its 5G services.
The Shenzhen-headquartered firm, which is under immense pressure after the US issued the ban warning that Huawei systems could be manipulated by Beijing to spy on other countries and disrupt critical communications, made the announcement on Thursday in a press statement.
China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology on Thursday granted commercial-use 5G licenses to four state-owned telecom giants to start rolling out 5G services, signalling Beijing’s determination to be the global leader in setting up superfast wireless networks.
It issued licences to China Broadcasting Network and the country’s top three telecom operators — China Telecom, China Mobile and China Unicom.
The company said it was well prepared for China’s 5G commercial use. In February last year, it made the world’s first 5G call and launched the first 5G terminal device.
Huawei is caught in the intensifying trade war between China and the US after President Donald Trump imposed tariffs on USD 200 billion on Chinese goods, prompting Beijing to hike duties on USD 60 billion in American products. The dispute has snowballed into a tech war with the US urging nations to shun the company in 5G networks.
The concerns have escalated as Huawei has risen to become the world leader in telecom networking equipment and one of the top smartphone manufacturers alongside Samsung and Apple.
However, details of the countries where the company has managed to obtain the contracts have not been revealed, official media here reported.
5G is the next generation cellular technology with download speeds stated to be 10 to 100 times faster than the current 4G LTE networks. Apart from much faster data download and upload speeds, 5G technology promises wider coverage and more stable connections.
The 5G technology will establish a high-speed, mobile, safe and widespread new-generation information infrastructure, MIIT Minister Miao Wei said at the licence presentation
Some countries, including Australia and New Zealand, have blocked Huawei from supplying equipment for 5G mobile networks.
However, Russian President Vladimir Putin backed Huawei saying that action against by western countries led by the US is an attempt to push it out of the global market which is beginning of the of a technological war.
The firm’s proactive battles in US courts signal it is willing to use all means, including national courts, to prevent exclusion from a race to the 5G market — the future of high-speed telecommunications.
Source: Press Trust of India